: Hard Drive Failure and Replacement?
2008-04-20, 08:23 PM
I got an error message yesterday when I started up my 7 yr old XP Home desktop. It said my hard drive (pata 40gb) is off spec , do a backup asap, and replace the hard drive asap. I've ordered one (80gb pata) and have a couple of questions. There aren't any computer shops around, so it looks like I'll be doing the replacement myself.
I have an extra bay in my case and the ribbon cable on my current drive has an extra plug in. When I install the new drive, I'd like to make it the primary boot drive. Idealy, I'd like to copy the os and info from my current 40gb drive to the new 80gb drive.
How do I get started? Do I start with the old drive as master and new one as slave, transfer the data, then go back in and change the new one to master? Do I install the os fron the old hd, or from disk? If I want to keep my email history, how do I transfer that? Is something like Norton Ghost the easy way to do this?
2008-04-20, 08:44 PM
Proceed as follows:
Install the new drive alone as Master and do a fresh install of Windows on it as well as all of your required software. Make sure your computer boots to this drive and that all is functional.
Then add your old drive as slave and only transfer your 'working files' (usually under My Documents and child subdirectories). Do not transfer programs as these will not be in your 'new' Windows registry.
You could also image the old drive in a separate partition on the new drive, but you'll end up transferring items you may not really need and increase your disk clutter.
2008-04-20, 08:58 PM
Tanta's method means you start over with a fresh install of Windows. If you'd rather just pick up where you left off, you can clone your original drive to the new drive.
Some drives come with a bootable utility CD with the software you need. If not, check the drive manufacturer's website for a free downloadable CD image.
2008-04-20, 10:07 PM
Thanks. When the drive arrives (Seagate ST380215A), I'll check to see what software arrives with it. It would definately be my preference to clone the old drive.
2008-04-21, 08:07 AM
Then you just reverse my suggestion:
1) Old drive in Master position.
2) New drive in Slave.
Make sure the new drive is properly recognized in your BIOS settings (proper capacity).
3) Install the cloning software on the old drive.
4) Transfer the image to the new drive.
5) Reverse the drive positions and boot to the new drive.
6) If all is well with the new drive, you might try to format the old; sometimes this restores the 'drive health issue', and you could use as a backup drive. But this might slow your computer down, if the transfer rates are mis-matched (different PIO modes) and the two drives share the same cable.
2008-04-21, 11:16 AM
When I reverse the drive positions, should I reverse the ribbon cable also, so the new primary drive gets the end plug, rather than the middle one, or will just changing the switch positions suffice?
2008-04-21, 11:20 AM
The jumpers on the back determine master/slave status... not the position on the cable.
I know it's more work but I would recommend installing windows fresh on the new drive, especially if you have been getting drive errors... if any files have gotton corrupted you may bring the corruption along with you to the new drive. Also if you've been running off the same xp install for 7 years it's probably time for a re-install anyways.
2008-04-21, 12:29 PM
The connector order on the cable matters if the drives are set to 'CS' (cable select), but as Hedge recommends, it is better practice (less wear and tear on the cable connectors) to set the jumpers to Master/Slave and leave the data cable alone.
2008-04-21, 04:26 PM
If I do a fresh install and want to transfer all of my Outlook express history to the new drive, how can I do that?
2008-04-21, 07:32 PM
look for the *.dbx files in your c:\documents and settings\<user> folder. Once re-installed just dump them into the new folder created.
Also export your accounts and contacts so they can be re-imported. If all else fails start googling.
I foud a link straight from ms:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/270670
2008-04-21, 09:07 PM
You could copy the contents of the old drive over to a new directory on the new drive or make a compressed image with something like Drive Image. Keep that around until you are sure you have all the personal data copied. Portions of the copy could be deleted, such as large application directories that contain no personal data.
I would run a thorough drive analysis on the old drive after backing it up. Software to do this is usually available from the drive maker's site. That will determine if the drive is still usable. A low level format will map out any bad sectors. If it is still usable, the drive could then be installed in an external USB case for backups.
2008-04-23, 09:37 PM
Well, the new drive arrived today and I installed it this afternoon. I took the chicken's way out and used Seagate's free software, "DiscWizard" and just cloned my old drive. Happy to say, all is fine now. Thanks for the help everyone.:D
2008-04-24, 09:48 AM
Thanks for posting your success; always helpful for others to know 'the end'.